Let’s be real. Social media is time consuming. And when it comes to growing an online business, you want to be sure that the time you commit to building your social media presence is well spent.
Here’s the thing: if you try to be everywhere at once, you’ll burn out and your marketing strategy will fail. That’s why I recommend choosing just one or two social platforms to focus on.
If you’re not sure which social media platform you should put your energy into, here’s a guide that can help you choose.
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Twitter is the most fast-paced social media platform of them all. Tweets have a lifespan of just 18 minutes, so you have to pump out a high volume of tweets to stay visible.
You can schedule tweets in advance using a third-party tool but unfortunately, Twitter’s policy forbids posting the exact same thing twice, so you can’t automatically recycle posts like you can on other social media platforms.
The short lifespan of tweets and the lack of true automation make Twitter a particularly time-consuming platform. So why would you want to be on Twitter?
Twitter is a great place to start and participate in conversations. It gives you the opportunity to engage your customers on a personal level. And it’s a great place to drop funny or clever one-liners to build your brand.
A great example of effective Twitter marketing is when a religious group demanded that Netflix cancel Good Omens…except Good Omens is an Amazon Prime show. So Amazon hilariously responded with this tweet:
Twitter is best if you…
Are a B2C (Business to Customer) company.
Have a product or info-based business.
Have time to invest or a VA to do it for you.
There are three different ways to grow your business using Facebook:
Facebook’s algorithm has changed a lot in the last few years and it favors paid ads over organic posts. This means that unless you have a strong existing community base, you’re probably wasting time trying to get organic engagement on your Facebook page.
Facebook ads are a great way to get business if you have some money to invest and you have a product-based business. That product could be a physical product, digital product, or info product. It really doesn’t matter. But high ticket service-based offerings are less likely to perform well.
The other way to grow your business is through Facebook groups. This is a particularly effective strategy for B2B companies because there are so many groups for entrepreneurs. Most groups don’t allow you to promote yourself directly but just showing up and being helpful can be enough for people to check out your profile and click on a link to your website. Many people also post in these groups looking for service providers, which can be a great opportunity to pitch your services.
You can also try creating your own Facebook group and building a community of fans around your product or service. A number of online entrepreneurs have done this with great success.
Facebook is best if you…
Are a B2B (Business to Business) company.
Have the budget and desire to try advertising.
Want to connect with people through groups.
Have time on your hands to engage with others.
Instagram is known primarily for being a visual platform but it’s also a micro-blogging platform. Long image descriptions are becoming increasingly popular and are a way to engage your audience on a deeper level.
Instagram can also be more automated than either Twitter or Facebook. You only have to post to Instagram once a day to maintain a strong presence and you can schedule your posts in advance using a service like Planoly (free) or Tailwind* (premium).
Instagram is owned by Facebook, and like Facebook, it’s moving more toward paid advertising but it can still be a valuable tool if used organically. It’s a great place to show off your product or body of work and build trust with your customer/client base through visuals.
Instagram does have the potential to drive some traffic to your website but it won’t drive anywhere near as much as, say, Pinterest (which we’ll talk about in a minute). If that’s your main goal, it may not be the best fit for you.
To use Instagram to its fullest potential, you’ll need to spend some time everyday engaging with potential clients and customers by liking and commenting on their posts. Automating this task is possible but risky. It violates Instagram’s terms of service and using a commenting bot can hurt your brand more than help it.
Instagram is best if you…
Have a visual business (designer, photographer, artist, etc.)
Have a little time to invest or have a VA who can engage with other accounts on your behalf.
Have the budget and desire to try paid advertising.
Pinterest functions differently than the other social media platforms we’ve covered so far. In fact, it’s more search engine than social media platform.
Pinterest pins have a long lifespan and can even go viral months after posting. Though you can comment on pins, there’s not much interaction on Pinterest aside from pinning other user’s content.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform, though it’s more focused on promoting content than pure imagery. It’s ideal for business owners who blog as a way to grow their online presence and website traffic.
What I love most about Pinterest is that you can automate everything. I use Tailwind* to schedule my blog posts on a loop so they auto-publish at set time intervals forever. It’s also important to share other people’s pins. I spend 2-4 hours once a month scheduling everything.
Pinterest is best if you…
Use blogging as your primary digital marketing strategy.
Are skilled enough at graphic design to create enticing pin images for blog posts or have a willingness to learn.
Don’t have a lot of time to spend on social media.
Dislike the “social” aspect of social media.
Want to increase your traffic fast.
Like Pinterest, YouTube functions more as a search engine than a social media platform (although it does have a robust comments section). In fact, YouTube can help you rank higher in search engines, especially if you embed videos in your blog posts.
Video is by far the most engaging communication medium. It’s already exploded in popularity and it’s only going to become more dominant over the next few years. The problem is that filming and editing videos is extremely time-consuming and can require carving out a small recording space in your office, making yourself look semi-presentable (the whole point of working from home is that you don’t have to look good, right?!), buying lighting equipment, etc. It’s a chore. And it can also be difficult if you’re uncomfortable being on camera.
YouTube is best if you…
Are comfortable on camera.
Have a lot of time to film, edit, and optimize videos.
Have a blog to cross-promote your videos.
Which social media platform is your best fit? Tell me in the comments below!